Now that we have finalized our major train trip plans, I would like to share our lodging choices. Since our flight to Italy takes us to Milan's Linate Airport, we'll be staying in Milan (Milano) for the first night of our 15 days in Italy; next, we'll take the Trenitalia Frecciarossa (fast train) to Florence (Firenze) for a 3 day visit; then, we'll board the Italotreno, another fast train, bound for Naples (Napoli). on our way to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast where we'll be for 5 days; and, finally, before returning to Milan for our final night, we'll take the Italotreno train north to Bologna for a 5 day visit. It might seem like a lot of moving around, but really, we'll have lots of time to relax and take day trips from each location without being too stressed or trying to do too much. However, we will be traveling more with our luggage than we did last year so we're going to try to pack lighter than ever. We will have a washing machine in each of the apartments we've rented which should reduce the need for extra clothes. Hopefully, packing for 7 days instead of 15 will lighten our load considerably.
Choosing our lodging mainly involved viewing properties and reading reviews on Booking.com and Tripadvisor. The average per night price for our hotel and apartments is about $101(with a high of $140 and a low of $82) which we think is pretty reasonable. Last year we stayed in Milan at the Hotel Mythos for a total of 4 nights and found that it was economical, clean, quiet and close to the Milano Centrale train station, which was ideal for us. So, it was a logical choice for us this time at €83, or about $93 at today's exchange rate. The main reason we'll be in Milan is that our Aer Lingus airfare was much cheaper than flying into Florence. We do favor Swiss Air when flying into Florence, though. There are still things you can do in Milan even if you're there for only a 1/2 day and night. If you plan a couple months ahead, you should be able to get tickets to see DaVinci's Last Supper (we did this last year on our last day with tickets from Selectitaly). And, if you walk to the Last Supper which is about 2 1/2 miles from the hotel, you can see Milan's impressive Cathedral ( Duomo di Milano), the La Scala Opera House and The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II mall on the way!
|Hotel Mythos in Milano.|
|Our room at Hotel Mythos.|
|Via Venezia, Florence.|
|Design Apartment's bedroom.|
|Design Apartment's kitchen.|
After 3 wonderful days in Florence, we once again head to the SMN train station to catch our 11:33 AM train to Naples. 2:55 later we should be in the Napoli Centrale train station looking for our Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. The apartment we have reserved through Booking.com is the Appartamento Corso Italia 269 which is situated on the main street through Sorrento. Our rental rate for this one bedroom unit was €365 or about $410 for 5 nights. We have never been to Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast so this will be an exciting new adventure for us. From here we hope to visit the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Positano, Amalfi and the isle of Capri. That will be a lot to do in 5 days but we'll still have time to see Sorrento and to relax.
|Living room at Palazzo Pannolini apartment.|
|Entrance at Palazzo Pannolini apartment.|
|Bedroom at Palazzo Pannolini apartment.|
Well, that's the nuts and bolts of our lodging for 15 days traveling in our favorite country - Italy. Finding a great place to stay that suits your budget is not difficult. The easiest to use site for me has been Booking.com. There you can, more often than not, reserve an apartment or a hotel room without a deposit, pay when you get there and cancel for free within a week or two of your reserved date. You can also communicate directly with the hotel or apartment owner to tweak your plans with them if you need an early check-in or late check-out time or for any other special requests. Tripadvisor's site also worked well, but you might have to pay a big deposit upfront. We had to pay a 60% deposit for the Bologna apartment. Still, on Tripadvisor, you'll be able to get a complete refund if you meet the "date by" requirements.
I hope this information will be helpful to you as you plan your big Italian adventure. Remember, Italy is waiting for you!